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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 22, 2012 2:00am-3:00am EST

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>> professor dorian warren, thank you for joining me tonight. >> thank you. >> have the last word on my blog, thelastword.msnbc.com. follow my tweets @lawrence. "the ed show" is up next. wars of religion. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, what is rick santorum up to? three stories tonight make you wonder whether republicans are driving themselves off a right-wing cliff. story number one. rick santorum, why is he questioning public schools, prenatal testing, contraception, president obama's theology, and even now bringing up jeremiah wright? as eric erickson of redstate.com wrote this morning, "we really are a party on the verge of suicide against an imminently
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beatable president. republicans are finally starting to realize it, but i fear it may be too late." well, story number two. franklin graham said today the islamic world says president obama as a fellow muslim and obama, himself, has been favoring them over christians worldwide. my question tonight, will they ever stop saying this nonsense? story number three. republicans in the virginia legislature are about to pass a bill requiring that women get an ultrasound test before they get an abortion. will this add to the republicans trouble with independent women? given all that, plus an improving economy with the dow touching 13,000 today, democrats are feeling pretty good about their chances come november. but as politico warned today, don't get so cocky. there's a lot that could still go wrong and cause obama to love in november. finally, the hell that the republicans negativity brings on them. we begin with santorum's
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campaign one week ofter the virginia primaries. howard fineman and also chip saltsman, who ran mike huckabee's campaign. howard, let's look at a national poll. we know the national polls reflect the latest events, but let's look. a matchup between rick santorum and mitt romney. the latest poll. santorum, 50%. romney, 44%. but looking to tuesday's arizona primary, the cnn/"time" poll, romney, 36%, santorum, 32%. gingrich and dr. paul way behind. let me go to the questions. what are we looking at now going into michigan? >> what we're looking at is the possibility of rick santorum becoming the confirmed front-runner if he wins michigan. and i think the reason for that is that is one of mitt romney's home states. it's as much a home state as any. it's the place he says he learned about america and
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learned about the auto industry and the values of his family life. >> and the trees are the right height. >> and the trees are the right height. and if he loses in that state to rick santorum, who was an asterisk a few months ago, beats mitt romney running for president actively for five years and deliberatively for 20, that's going to make rick santorum in effect the front runner. >> ugh. let me ask you, chip. i was reading gene robinson's column this it morning. he said that mitt romney is basically having problem beating political hasbeens. he refers to your candidate, santorum, as a political hasbeen. i think he's a comeback guy. i think santorum, for whatever reason, has found the sweet spot of the republican right on social issues and is doing quite well beating the guy with all the good looks, all the money, the family name, the cars, the five homes, and he's ahead of
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him nationally right now. we just reported that. he's ahead of the guy who has everything, including those jeans he's wearing now, rather uncomfortably. what's going on? hasbeen beating romney. >> i think i agree with you. i don't think he's a hasbeen. i think he's a comeback kid story. he got wiped out in pennsylvania in the '06 elections, as did a lot of republicans. but he's always been a fighter for the social issues that are important to people in our party. he's been a strong spokesman. and like i said all along, he's been the happy warrior. a lot of people are attracted to somebody who knows who he is, what he believes, and not afraid to talk about it. >> let's talk about that right-wing sweet spot he keeps on hitting. last night on fox, rick santorum brought up the reverend wright again, that old story when discussing president obama's faith. let's listen. >> he went to reverend wright's church for 20 years. you can question what kind of theology reverend wright has. it's a christian church. he goes to a christian church now.
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i'm not going to question what the president believes in when it comes to his faith, but i am going to question what he's doing in this country to drive up the cost of energy, destroy this economy, and do so at the behest of a bunch of environmental radicalists. >> i'm not going to question his religion. he trashed it. he went after reverend wright, a street religion, whatever he is trying to do there. fine. okay. he does all that. then he says, by not talking about that, let's talk about the stuff he's doing in this country. >> the maneuver that he made around the church issue was positively nixonian. >> i'm not one of those that believes the supreme court is hopeless and communist. >> we have a story on "the huffington post" that digs into his background, when he first ran for congress in the pittsburgh area. he did not stress religion. he did not stress the abortion issue. this may have been privately held believes. they probably were, but they are
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not anything he dare talk about. but over the years, he's taking on the aura of a crusader. his people think by sticking to his guns the way he has on these issues, by making these statements, he's impressing the republican base with his sincerity and his passion. >> you're not saying he is faking it, are you? >> i'm not saying he is faking it. he's unpacked what's inside. >> unpack what's inside. chip, from the first time i heard about this guy running in congress and using the residence issue against walgren, saying he was living in virginia and knocking him off with that charge. he was a right-to-lifer to the core. this was a big part of his motive. here's a guy who keeps hitting the political sweet spot. even contraception. issues that go way back to the '50s and '60s. is it just a coincidence that what he believes deep down, this old church basic philosophy is
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working for him or is he missing a point? is he smart to keep hitting these points over and over again? contraception, questioning women's role in the world today in many ways, working outside the home. going back to the old verities. are they winners or mistakes? >> it's a double-edged sword. that's where he's most comfortable. that's where his space is. there's a big part of our primary people listening to that and cheering him on. it's his comfort zone. >> that women should stay home. how is that? women shouldn't be going into the workplace to win the prizes they don't need because basically they are needed at home. that kind of an argument that he is still out there with, is that something that wins or what? i don't think it does. >> i don't think it wins long term. most people in this country are worried about jobs in the economy. we have seen every poll say that. we have to build on the good economic news. if rick santorum is going to be successful, he needs to focus on his blue collar background, not so much on the social issues but other things.
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>> how many people have daughters in their 20s, howard, like we do, are thinking some guy is going to take care of them some day? they don't have to have a career or work. that's kind of ridiculous today. >> to be blunt about it, in the republican primaries and caucuses, rick santorum isn't worried about that. he's worried about getting evangelicals and conservative catholics, male and female. he's worried about blue collar workers. and i think he figures if he ever gets to the general election, women who would be insulted by that were never going to vote for him any way. i think he's miscalculating. i think a lot of conservative women in the republican party are not going to go for a guy who questions contraception, who questions women's role in the workplace. it's just too antique, aggressively retroactive a notion to sell even to moderate republican women in the general election. >> you know, the slogan of this network is leaning forward or
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lean forward. it seems like his is lean backward. chip? is that a winner, lean backward? i think lean forward has been a winner for us but not thinking that lean backward is a guest for him. >> i'm certainly on your show, and i think you're a big winner. i think it works for you. >> you'll be back. you'll be back a lot now. no, keep going. >> rick santorum to be successful long term has to move you on that. howard is right. the blue-collar issues that he can articulate because he's from a midwest-type state, has a lot of those jobs, he can be successful on those issues. he has a strong manufacturing plan. that's what he needs to hit on in michigan in the closing week. >> you know who is afraid of him? it's mitt romney and his new friend, dr. ron paul, his new bromance brother. here is dr. paul out with a new ad out, taking on rick santorum, maybe at the behest of his bromance buddy, mitt romney.
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let's listen to dr. paul trashing rick santorum. >> is this dude serious? fiscal conservative? really? santorum voted to raise the debt ceiling five times, double the size of the the department of education. then supported the biggest entitlement expansion since the '60s. not groovy. santorum voted to send billions of our tax dollars to dictators in north korea and egypt and even hooked planned parenthood up with a few million bucks. rick santorum a fiscal conservative? fake. >> i'm ron paul and i approve this message. >> why is he out attacking his other opponents, not groovy? is this a deal he's got with romney to trash the guy challenging romney? >> i think ron paul's strategic imperative from the very beginning, and maybe it's a wish rather than a plan, is to knock out all the other foes of mitt romney and have him be the last man standing. but it's too late for that.
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what he's up to now is being head of the fed. >> that's what i was thinking. he gets bernanke's job. the last head of the fed. what is he up to on the libertarian side? it's aimed at young people. maybe young people from the '60s. i mean, he said every word but neat. what's going on here with this hip new ad of his? >> i think dr. paul is in delegate collection mode. he's trying to get as many delegates as he can to take to tampa. see what happens when he gets there. he wants a prominent spot thinking. if he continues this path, he'll probably get a spot. >> so this is 20 minutes of prime time? thank you very much, howard fineman, chip saltsman. it's a big lie the right wing refuses to let go. franklin graham, son of the wonderful billy graham. again questioning whether president obama really is a
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christian, saying his policies favor muslims and throwing in the fact that muslims think he's one of their brothers, a fellow muslim. what is this about? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. [ male announcer ] what makes you trust a company? wait -- scratch that -- what makes you trust a car insurance company? a talking animal? a talking character? a talking animal character? how fancy their commercials are, maybe? or how many there are? well what about when a company's customers do the talking? esurance customers are saying stuff
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welcome back to "hardball." the cultural right can't stop questioning president obama's religion. reverend franklin graham, the
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evangelist and son of billy graham, appeared on "morning joe" today and refused to say president obama is a christian, but went further than that one. let's watch. >> you have to ask him. i cannot answer that question for anybody. i'm a sinner and god has forgiven me of my sins because i put my faith and trust in jesus crist. that's all i know. >> alex wagner and political analyst john heilemann joins us. i want to start with john. you were tough this morning. i liked it looking at the tapes of it. let me ask you this. i have things he said today that bug me after discerning through the trash of some of the stuff he said. it really bothers me. but i want to know what bothers you the most about what he said this morning, what the son of billy said today. >> chris, how do i count the ways? the thing that i called him out on today was for a double standard and being hypocritical. we had the bite where he said "i
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can't answer this question for anyone." but he did answer. he said absolutely if rick santorum was a christian. he said, he told me so. about newt gingrich, he said yes. he goes to church. he has lived a life i can discern that from. and when it came to president obama, that was the only person who he couldn't affirm on the basis of the president's statements. >> why do you think he said that? what's his motive here? >> i think he has some doubt about the question. number one, he's clearly unconvinced for a variety of reasons. today he said that he thought president obama took up christianity for political reasons. i think there's also been a concerted effort among some on the right to advance this narrative about the president. he advanced it even further by talking about the president's pro-muslim policies around the world saying that the muslim faith might still claim president obama as one of their members, although he's never
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been one of their members. >> we just checked that out. even with a muslim father, it doesn't make you a muslim. a person has to make an active choice to become a muslim. that's a complete lie. i should say a complete untruth. here's "morning joe's" willie geist. let's listen to that point that got to me. let's listen. >> under islamic law, islam sees him as a son of islam because his father was a muslim. under islamic law, the muslim world sees barack obama as a muslim, as a son of islam. that's just the way it works. that's the way they see him. but of course, he says he didn't grow up that way. he didn't believe in that. he believes in jesus christ. i accept that. but the muslim world, the muslim world, islam, they see him as a son of islam. >> be you do not believe he's a
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muslim? >> no >> categorically not a muslim? >> i can't say categorically. >> this is where it gets to me, alex, my colleague. what this guy is planning is that same old seed that it the right wing has been planting about our president, and he is our president, from the first time he emerged as a a national figure. that he's foreign, that he's exotic, not one of us, that he's not patriotic, he's loyal to other people. he went on to say he's backing the muslim world against the christians, even though he's killing bin laden and doubling the number of troops in afghanistan and all that good stuff, working with the special forces. no matter what this man does for this country, they still want to write him out as not really one of us. your thoughts? >> i'm surprised he didn't keep saying barack hussein obama. the point was to string together, son of islam, sharia law and barack obama. these are conservative dog whistles. they are an effort to paint him
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as an islamic figure who wasn't born here and whose presidency is illegitimate. it's fear mongering as well. kenyans think obama is kenyan because they feel an affinity to him. since when did it become so bad to be a muslim in this country, setting aside the fact that he isn't? he's a christian. there's so much to unpack. the main point is it's an effort to fearmonger around the president, his religion, and his citizenship. >> here's frank graham saying the president's policies favor muslims. let's watch this. >> islam has gotten a free pass under obama. islamists are taking control of the middle east. people like mubarak, who was a dictator but he kept the peace with israel, the minorities, the christian minorities were protected. now those christian minorities are under attack.
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in a "newsweek" article last week was the massacre of the christians of the islamic world from europe through the middle east into africa and oceania. muslims are killing christians. and we need to be forcing and the president can come out and make a statement demanding that if these countries do not protect their minorities, no more foreign aid from the united states. >> i'm all for him on that point because he's saying we should protect minorities and christians. fair enough. that was a good point. john, when he went beyond that and said the president's motive here and not acting and doing what he ought to be doing, he sides with the islamists and brotherhood. he wanted to overthrow mubarak. that he's part of the enemy attacking the west. with all the evidence of being raised by a white family, the
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way he was raised, where's the evidence of loyalty to the islamists world? >> it's sinister what he did there. he's saying thathe muslim world calls barack obama its own. then by saying that the muslim world is slaughtering christians around the world due to president obama's inaction, he's trying to say that president obama is in some way implicated in a direct way in the slaughter of christians around the world. talk about a dog whistle. that's a horse whistle. that's on top of the mountain top and screaming out as directly as you can. it's mendacious and pernicious. it's not based on any evidence. i think it's also dangerous and obviously wrong. >> here's another shot across the bow against another candidate for president. alex, you asked graham about mitt romney's faith. let's watch this response. >> what about mitt romney?
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>> i like him. >> is he a christian? >> he's a mormon. >> but he said he's part of the christian faith. >> most christians would not recognize mormonism as part of the christian faith. >> so he's not a christian? >> i'm saying most christians would not recognize mormonism. >> well, actually, a majority of americans, many of us christian, do recognize mormonism as part of the christian world. his definition, fair enough, it's his definition. i think he does have some wiggle room because it's his definition of what a christian is, alex. he means fundamentalists. he doesn't include mainstream churches. he doesn't include lutherans. certainly doesn't include roman catholics. he includes his notion of born-again fundamentalists. that group of white, evangelical, you know, basically baptist people, that group does not accept mormonism. but that's his way of talking. >> sure. if you become a christian
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apparently after you have been working as a community organizer on the south side of chicago, that's not a valid form of christianity either. it's no surprise, i think, that he sort of distinguished his own christian theology from that of mitt romney's. there are differing tenets. this is not a good thing for mitt romney who tried to underscore the linkages between traditional christian tenets and that of mormonism. i think it's very telling that of all the candidates who could talk about religious persecution, mormonism faces a lot of uphill battles in terms of being accepted as a viable religion in this country. mitt romney has been uncomfortably silent on the issue. >> i think we should stop inviting this guy to talk about politics. he should stay out of the public square. i love the bookings on "morning joe," i love the guests. he's got his own little thing and he ain't his father's son. i do not believe in some magical projection of blood that makes him a second billy graham.
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there is no evidence of that. talk about the religion coming through the father. the seed if you will. it ain't done too good a job with him. thank you, alex wagner. thank you, john heilemann. up next, there's four candidates in the republican race now. that doesn't stop the comparisons to a famous comedy trio, which ones do you think that might be? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. progresso. it fits! fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit!
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back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. first up, thank your lucky stars. that's not what a lot of republican voters are thinking when they think of the choices for the presidential candidates. for those in the comedy circuit, it's pure gold. a gold mine, if you will. hollywood veteran david steinberg who directed "seinfeld" and "curb your enthusiasm" appeared with steve
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carell last night. what trio does he think has a place in presidential politics? >> this is a gift from god to comedians from the likes of which is unheard of. it will be a ship of fools that is unbelievable. i used to have a theory i took almost through all the presidencies. it's like the three stooges. you're either a moe, who is in charge, or a larry who wants to be a moe, or you're curly who is nuts and totally just off the page. this is all curlys. >> think about it. it's a bad sign when being compared to larry or moe of the three stooges would be a step up for a candidate. next up, it's comparisons like that one that has some people thinking isn't there anyone else out there? indiana governor mitch daniels is one of the names that's floated as a late entry to the republican race.
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any chance he's reconsider after initially choosing not to take the plunge? here's what he told reporters in his home state yesterday. >> i would like to participate. i'd like to help fashion a winning race. >> not a deadlock if they turn to you? >> it's very unlikely to happen. my advice would be let's find somebody else. >> daniels says his phone is still ringing with requests he step in. he says he's aware of the noise out there, but daniels remains a firm no on the question of running this year. and finally, playing to the crowd at one of the latest lines of attack against president obama, the republican candidates have taken on high gasoline prices and energy policy. during a speech in oklahoma yesterday, newt gingrich related the president's push for electric cars to, get this, an anti-american agenda. let's listen. >> the obama administration is
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dedicated to an anti-american energy, expensive gasoline policy. this is not an accident. the president said, you know, you ought to buy smaller cars. now, let me start with a simple premise that most oklahomans will understand. you cannot put a gun rack in a volt. >> what an asinine comment. the folks at chevrolet heard the comments. a spokesman for them had some choice words. "fuel efficiency, not the availability of a gun rack, is one of the top purchase considerations for all new vehicles. if accessories are that important to newt gingrich, we'll send him a product brochure." there's a reason why this jab seems a tad desperate. the auto industry is shaping up to be a cornerstone of the
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president's push for reelection. and that one is more important than the talking point you just heard. up next, republicans in virginia are about to pass a bill requiring that women seeking an abortion get an ultrasound first. republicans are fighting the culture wars again, as you can see, and it may cost them independent women voters come november. they decide the election. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc.
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the u.n.'s nuclear watchdog is expressing disappointment with iran t says iran blocked attempts by inspectors to investigate its nuclear program.
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world leaders meeting friday in tunisia to talk about the 11th month uprising. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." right next door to here, i'm in d.c,, in virginia, nearly 1,200 protesters descended on the state capital to protest legislation working its way to the governor that would require a woman to get an ultrasound before having an abortion. opponents say that legally requiring an ultrasound violates the doctor/patient relationship. supporters say the ultrasound is a tool for informed consent before having an abortion. virginia is now the focus of
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this fight and could join seven other states at least where women are already legally required to have an ultrasound before an abortion. texas, law down there states the provider must display and describe the image. in virginia, the bill as written now would require the ultrasound be done, but not that the woman view it. coming on the heels over last week's fights on access to contraception, is the virginia fight another example of the placing undue burden on women's care. cynthia tucker and marjorie dannenfelser joins us. cynthia, you go first. what is wrong with this legislation requiring an ultrasound before an abortion? >> everything, chris. you know, republicans have been bludgeoning the obama administration with government intrusiveness. the affordable care act is supposed to be so intrusive, requiring contraception from
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insurers is so intrusive. what is more intrusive than mandating a medical procedure for a woman, one that is not medically necessary? what is more intrusive of government than getting in the relationship between a woman and her doctor? i can't imagine an episode of greater government overreach than that. >> okay, marjorie, your thoughts about why it would be important for the legislature in any state to require this ultrasound before an abortion? >> really, this is a matter of giving a woman more information that she needs to make a decision that's fully informed. listen, these ultrasounds are standard procedure. planned parenthood's hotline in virginia says that as well. all that is involved here is saying that 24 hours ahead of time, that that ultrasound be available and offered to the woman.
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>> i thought the law said they have to have it. >> the information. you have to have the ultrasound, yes. it's not true that there's no medical value in it. >> just so the person watching the show understands the issue here, is the issue whether this is required by law or not? >> it is required by law. >> if you win? if you win? >> that is right, if we win. and the actual ultrasound image is offered to the woman. she doesn't have to look at it. it's not true there's no medical necessity. that's why it's a standard procedure. >> what's the medical advantage of having an ultrasound before an abortion? >> women have died and had all sorts of complications from abortions when gestational age was not accurately determined. >> hang on a minute. if, in fact, planned parenthood already does this, why is the law necessary? if a doctor believes that the procedure is medically necessary, a doctor will do it.
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>> because a woman deserves to see it. >> there is no need for a law. but if it is not medically necessary, the government has no business telling a doctor he or she must perform this intrusive procedure when it's not medically necessary. >> the information is vital. there are all sorts of other standards of procedures required by government. this one is certainly vital for her health and her fully informed decision. >> i'm not going to take cynthia's side, although i agree this should be a concern that people should have. there ought to be an onus on the ones that want the law. a woman decides to have an abortion. she makes the decision. it's legal under the law in the first trimester. under the court ruling, she goes to get one. why should you get in the way of that decision once she's made that decision? if she's made that decision, why should she be required to jump through hoops to do it? >> the reason the majority of women in virginia and across the
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country support this is that they believe in that vulnerable spot, in a very difficult place, that more information is better. and making -- two decisions to make. one decision is a medical decision. one is about the contentious difficult decision about what's happening in an abortion. an ultrasound speaks to that. it's science. it is a scientific opinion backing up a medical reality. >> what percentage of women after having an ultrasound decide not to have an abortion after seeing an ultrasound? >> why are you pushing a bill you don't understand the implications of? >> i understand that women -- i know that women think they should have that information. if they want the information, they should have it. >> if women thought -- >> they are in a difficult spot. listen. they get all kinds of other information about every other aspect of everything that's going to happen in a procedure. this is arguably another human being.
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>> do you think abortion should be outlawed? >> of course, i do. i think it's another human being. but that's not what we're talking about here. >> is this another way to beginning the process of outlawing it, politically? >> this truly is about giving a woman a fully informed decision about what's actually going on. >> cynthia, last thought here. i want to move on to a larger question on women's health. your thought on this. what do you think this means, cynthia, that this is being pushed? >> it's harassment. it's harassment because the groups who are pushing this don't want women to have the right to decide. it is extremely condescending to suggest that women have not already thought deeply about this, prayed about it, talked to family before they go into an abortion clinic. if they wanted more information, they could certainly ask the doctor for it. >> why should an abortionist in the first place do it? why should information that he's going to get not be offered to the woman?
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that's all that's happening in virginia. >> let me ask you another question, the obama health care program. the insurance companies are required to carry without co-pay coverage for birth control. isn't that going to radically reduce the number of abortions in this country, birth control? the fact that poor women, working women will get it free. they will be inclined to provide themselves with birth control and avoid abortions? wouldn't that be good for people who want to avoid abortions? >> i would say regardless of the answer to that question, the ends don't justify the means. this is actually what this presidential debate, this is what this freedom of information is about. it's about freedom. and for -- >> so radically reducing the number of abortions in this country is not a good end? >> of course, it's a good end. >> it could be achieved by birth control. >> but a mandate to require abortions -- >> the availability at no cost will encourage women to use it. it would seem to me because it's free and made available in their insurance programs, won't that radically reduce the number of abortions in this country?
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>> no. >> no. >> no? >> look, 100% access is what women have now. requiring -- mandating that on individuals that don't believe in abortion causing drugs is a restriction of religious liberty and should not be about it. that's what we're talking about. >> cynthia tucker, thank you for your knowledge and passion as always. marjorie dannenfelser, thank you for coming on. i disagree on this one but generally keep debating these things obviously in this country. up next, everything is going well for president obama and the democrats, right? not so fast. just when you think everything is cool, check that gas pump. we have reasons why this election could be very tricky for the democrats, just because the economy and the impact of gasoline prices going up. this is "hardball" only on msnbc. there's a scie e to the perfect swisssh it's about zero weight, 100% more nourishment, which means hair that's not weighed down. introducing new aqua light from pantene. our lightweight conditioning formula
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it's like a sauna in here. helping you save, even if it's not with us -- now, that's progressive! call or click today. no mas pantalones! well, things are looking pretty good for president obama right now. but we're coming back with a couple reasons why democrats shouldn't count their chickens before they are hatched. "hardball" back after this.
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we're back, last but not least, there is no doubt democrats delight in watching the fractured gop fight i'm enjoying it, a heck of a good show. in the race for the republican nomination. when you couple that with the climbing stock market, almost 13,000, maybe tomorrow it will be there and lower unemployment rate it looks good for the people in the white house. not so fast. here is a politico headline, dems warn let's not get cocky. chris is an msnbc political analyst. i hate to waste two big heavy weights, the end of the show is ending better with you two guys. you are the best. i listen to you all the time. i learn constantly. i mean it. let's go with this. what is the -- let's goat this,
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you have a lot of good things going on, stock market up, unemployment coming down what is the thing if you're sitting in the white house, the guy with the propeller on his head the resident looks up to, across the table to. what is he most worried about between now and november. >> the economy. this has been the best three months of the obama presidency since the first three months of the obama presidency in 2009 but the economy is this thing that -- if you asked david plouffe, they would admit they don't have that much control over how it turns out. so he's worried, look, have we had a couple good months? absolutely. if we have a couple bad months now all of a sudden the energy, excitemen, feeling things will turn around double dip, things not getting better, i think it's the hardest thing it's something that could change the electoral dynamic and something you can't control.
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>> what number does it come down to, jonathan the number of the unemployment rate, the last report we get in october, the october number on the weekend that friday before the election that october number better be around 8, that is what it comes down to, the growth rate better damn well be three, not two? what are the smart guys looking at? >> trends, not just the final number the first friday in november, it will be or i'm sorry, in october, it will be the trend over a period of months. summer in the fall, is the unemployment rate steadily falling, if that is the case, if there is a real strong campaign to make that things are turning around, i think they will be in better shape. if i could add one other dynamic here, chris, we're talking about spread sheets and getting wonky in the weeds, not just unemployment but looking at
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demographics. uneducated, non-college educated white voters, what are they doing? can obama get a certain threshold, doesn't have to be majority, can he reach a certain threshold of non-college educated whites if that is the case he has a good shot to reach reelection. >> that is the the importance of bill clinton and joe biden. >> you will see clinton and biden spending time in pennsylvania, ohio, wisconsin, absolutely. >> let me go back, the internal, the big thing, europe is going through, that is going through. the straits of hormuz, and what the iranians might do, what is the big explosive event could drive unemployment back up to 9, chris? >> i don't know if it's an event. i think gas prices certainly, republicans are looking for something at the moment, because if they premised the entire time
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of their attack against the obama presidency on the economy. this is a guy who doesn't know how to make the economy work, the famous mitt romney line he's never signed the front of a check, only the back of one. if the economy gets better it's tough. i would say gas prices, because it's so personal, chris. the issues i think hit home and are persuadable, when you fill up, i filled up it was $52. that is 8, 10, more dollars than normal. that is a potential problem because it's very personal. >> this side of $5 for regular, this side of $5 for regular can he get beaten on gas prices alone, jonathan? >> look, if you're seeing gas prices up to about five buck as gallon, the stock market being at 13,000, unemployment rate falling those things matter but if folks are feeling it in their pocketbook once every couple days, spending $60, $70, it will be tough.
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>> all about iran, still about europe, gas prices in the end about unemployment rate and about the demographic figures. we have it to worry about. thank you, jonathan and chris. we don't have propellers on our head. when we return, toxic pollution from the republicans that want to be president. a smeared up campaign, nobody is looking good. this is not a good environment for republicans to have convention or nominee. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. announcer ] we got a real mom and the family car to do an experiment. we put a week of her family's smelly stuff all in at once to prove that new febreze car vent clips could eliminate the odor. then we brought her family to our test facility to see if it worked. [ woman ] take a deep breath. tell me what you smell. something fresh. a beach. a clean house. my new car. [ woman ] go ahead and take your blindfolds off. oh! [ laughs ] look at all this garbage! [ male announcer ] introducing new febreze car. eliminates odors for continuous freshness so you can breathe happy.
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let me finish tonight with this. do you know what a brown field is in it's what left when an old factory is torn down, land is torn up, burned in the soil from a long period have giant furnaces and factories. spewing soot and heating up the ground, waste has beaten up the land. the republican parties is contaminated by too much soot in the air, dumping of hazardous waste. night after night, day after day, the air waves are filled with lethal nasty demolition of one republican by another, romney is the worst of them he and his super pacs. he's dumped so much hazardous material on his rivals would take a 21 century superfund to clean it up. try watching television in michigan you can't escape the contamination. it's every where you go. what will be the cost? people don't like getting dirty
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or living in an environment that is contaminated. the only people will show up to vote will be the wild ones, those with the most primitive of passions. people driven to vote out of a hatred so deep they can't live with themselves without pulling the lever against what is bothering them about the most. no matter which republican survives living in this brown field he will car polluted look of the stricken earth this republican campaign fighting field has become. having spent a year or more in this place of televised horror and on the ground nastiness he will look like a survivor from a factory disaster. a joker, that life has been good to him but no one else can

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